The No. 3 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (3-1) beat No. 13 USC (3-3) 3-1 at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge Thursday night.
The Buckeyes and the Trojans played nearly even for much of the first set until the score was 21-16, when USC senior opposite hitter John Rivera missed his serve. Ohio State was able to score the final four points of the set with kills from freshman outside hitter Martin Lallemand and senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, as well as two consecutive service aces from Szerszen to win 25-16.
The Buckeyes had 12 kills and a .409 hitting percentage in the first set.
Ohio State won the second set 25-20. Ohio State redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson and Lallemond each contributed four kills. The Buckeyes garnered nine points from USC service errors.
USC ended Ohio State’s two-set win streak and pulled within one set, winning the third 25-20. The Trojans scored 16 kills and had their highest hitting percentage in a set of the match at .407. The Trojans received nine points from Ohio State service and attacking errors.
The Buckeyes clinched the match by taking the fourth set 25-21, despite having their lowest hitting percentage for the match at .276. Ohio State also had seven service errors, its highest total of the match. USC’s .125 hitting percentage was its lowest of the match.
USC redshirt junior outside hitter Jack Wyett’s 18 kills were the most by anyone on either team. Szerszen finished with an Ohio State-leading 17 kills. Ohio State junior setter Sanil Thomas led the game in assists with 44 and his teammate, redshirt junior libero Aaron Samarin, led both teams with seven digs.